Sunday, March 04, 2007

My nemises have ganged up on me: either that or Sainsburys staff are more twisted than I thought. The vegetable section has changed into something out of Silence of the Lambs. The bananas are on the right, breathing their spider-harbouring odour at you, the brussel sprouts are on the left, probably about to masturbate onto your ear, the oranges sit wussily on the end trying to look like they're only there by accident (not Lecter-like, just being oranges).

This being a particularly yoga-organic area of South London, the banana section stretches on for a good three or four feet more than it ought to, but what's with brussel sprouts? You eat them once a year and then they go away to wherever it is brussel sprouts go when they're out of favour. These are the rules, this is the only reason kids will eat their one solitary sprout, because they know it's the only time of the year that they have to.

The idea that people eat brussel sprouts out of choice is incredibly disturbing. It's like those people that enjoy eating cabbage and cauliflower. Cabbage tastes of squeaky dishcloths. Cauliflower tastes of flowery, mouldy dishcloths. They both taste of nightmares. Whenever people try to convince me otherwise, that these are actually delicious vegetables, it tends to be along the lines of "You really need to sprinkle on some nutmeg and lemon juice to bring out the flavour, or whip up a really good b├ęchamel for the cauliflower," basically telling me that these delicious vegetables only taste good when they've been DISGUISED, in much the same way as the Grinch trying to steal Christmas by putting on a Santa suit. Either way, in the end they both fuck up and nobody is fooled.

On the way home I was disappointed to see that my only Sunday religion, the Style section of the Sunday Times, was having a man's week. The Style men's issues are mostly quite boring and this week their bit of totty was the tamely underwhelming lady from the M&S undie ads. Crikey. A few pages on, AA Gill was being reliably vitriolic, this time about the concept of having a hero, with some fairly rushed interview jobs with Style-friendly stars tacked onto the end (Stephen Jones the milliner picks Stephen Jones the rugby player because "We share the same name and my mum fancies him". Shudder. Also, Stephen who?)

Heroes the TV show, I'm fully on board with. It's brilliant. The concept of having heroes though, personal ones, I'm a bit unsure of. I don't even think I have any heroes anymore – lots of people I admire, absolutely, people I get a bit nervous around, definitely, people I'd freak out at the idea of meeting, maybe a handful. All the literary, musical and cinematic heroes have been dulled a bit through having met a lot of the last two sides and realised they're mostly normal and non-starry, except Richard E Grant who I asked to sign my copy of Withnails and went back to work in a gibbering state grinning like some insane lunatic.

So, heroes as of now.

1) Mam'selle at my first primary school. She held regular reading hours with my class where we'd read along to books like The Witches. She read like my dad: every line felt like words were being stitched into our heads on a big tapestry, lots of drama and excitement. If kids had that sort of thing now, they'd read more.

2) The "Angel of Peckham" Camila Batmanghelidjh. Born into a wealthy Iranian family, she studied in the UK before the Iranian revolutions basically wiped out her entire personal history and she had to stay permanently. She become a psychotherapist, and then stopped her mortgage repayments in order to found Place2Be, and later on founded the charity Kids Company. Both help vulnerable children. A woman who makes you feel better about the world really.

3) AA Gill and Dorothy Parker, for making words dance on the page.

4) Whoever invented the name Bohemian Raspberry as an ice-cream flavour. Being Ben and Jerrys it is of course, disgusting, which is why I got Pralines and Cream Haagen Dazs to mop up the disappointment afterwards.

No comments: